Shug the grizzly bear didn't always love the spotlight. Before coming to Bear Path Acres Animal Education Center, she was claustrophobic, and accustomed to eating fried chicken instead of a more natural diet of deer. It took months of enrichment and training with the center's owner, Debbie Jeter, to coax Shug out of her shell. Today, however, Shug happily wanders her large enclosure, performing tricks for visitors when the mood strikes her.
Shug is one of many animals at the nonprofit center. Her companions include a tiger, foxes, tortoises, wolves, and even a striped skunk. Though the fauna vary by species, they share a single mission: to educate people on the wonders of wildlife and conservation. Guests can observe the animals during regular hours, or sign up for a twilight tour, during which the nocturnal creatures are more active and less prone to shout "Hey, pipe down!"
Fronted by British-Nigerian lead singer Sade Adu, Grammy-winning band Sade has seduced eardrums with a potent mélange of R & B, soul, and jazz for nearly 30 years. Performing songs from the new compilation album The Ultimate Collection, Sade will delight fans with greatest hits as well as a smattering of brand-new songs, melding soul-stroking vocals with eye-tickling dancing and onstage spectacle. Special guest John Legend will also throw his honeyed voice into the ring, soothing ears damaged by the cacophony of city life and by wearing graphing calculators as earrings.
The 5K run snakes its way through the beautiful, lush landscape of Norfolk Botanical Garden. Registration begins at 7 a.m., and on-site trainers from Onelife Fitness will happily assist with stretching prior to the 8 a.m. start. Though not included with today's Groupon, ForKids and Onelife will also host a 1-mile "Bud Run" for youngsters and 1/4-mile "Seedling Shuffle" for lil' tots after the 5K. Both are $10 per child.
Carefree Boat Club loads groups of up to eight explorers on an eager watercraft for a half day of cruising on the ocean waves. After arriving an hour early and completing a 45-minute training session, captains pocket four-hour boating and fishing licenses, select a seaworthy vessel—such as a Sea Ray 182 bowrider or a Triumph fishing boat—and putter across scenic waterscapes from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Fishermen can hook flounder and striped bass at the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel while water-sports enthusiasts skim past landlubbers on water-skis or develop death grips as they tube within range of historic Williamsburg. After a morning or afternoon of sea skimming and arguing over who should call whom Ishmael, boaters can take shore leave at the various local beaches for a snack or a nap in the sun. Renters are responsible for picking up fuel costs, which can fluctuate daily; water sporters should bring their own equipment, as skis, tubes, and inflatable cabana bars are not available at the club.
The Newport News City Council established the Newport News Green Foundation in 1998 in response to the vast urban development that had overtaken the city. The foundation became an independent nonprofit soon thereafter, and began landscaping along urban corridors to enhance the quality of life for local residents. Today, the Green Foundation acquires spaces within the city and beautifies them with plants to create wildlife habitats and sources of clean air. During regular service days, volunteers come together to beautify a space—clearing, digging, plowing, and planting. Since its inception, the Green Foundation has transformed spaces throughout the community, including 4.84 acres behind the Brentwood Shopping Center and 2 acres at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and McLawhorne Drive.
An all-volunteer, foster-based rescue, XOXO Pet Rescue, Inc. aims to save as many puppies and dogs as possible and find them loving, permanent homes. Fosters throughout the Tidewater area care for rescued dogs until they can be put up for permanent adoption. Although the rescue primarily cares for pups, volunteers also work to find homes for other furry or feathered friends in need of a home.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.